Sophomore Andrew McCarthy placed second in the state and Mt. Hope Wrestlers placed tenth out of 36 teams during the RIIL Westling State Championships at the Providence Career and Technical Academy on …
Sophomore Andrew McCarthy placed second in the state and Mt. Hope Wrestlers placed tenth out of 36 teams during the RIIL Westling State Championships at the Providence Career and Technical Academy on Friday and Saturday. Junior James Thibaudeau placed fifth and seniors Carson Correia and Mason Furtado each placed sixth in the state at their weights. Ben Martel, Brian Conway, Cole Rybak, Elijah Bland, Ethan Martel, Keaton Fisher and Sebastian Moniz all competed for the Huskies. Mt. Hope finished their season with a record of 16-20.
“I’m super proud of all these guys,” said Huskies head coach Ryan Fazzi. “We had multiple wrestlers place.”
Mt. Hope kicked off the season by winning their own Sharon Lombardo holiday tournament, but the season quickly grew turbulent as wrestlers fell to the injury bug and then head coach Jefferey Eutsay was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 15, due to an arrest by police involving incidents of domestic violence.
Five year assistant coach Ryan Fazzi stepped in to take over the program and athletic director Christy Belisle called in coaching alum Brad Oliver and middle school coach Trevor King to help out. The Huskies persevered under Coach Fazzi and his assistants going 7-8 with the new regime, all who are prepared to stay and rebuild the wrestling program.
“Obviously it was hard this season with the new head coach and then with me taking over,” Coach Fazzi said. “I honestly couldn’t have done it without the help of my coaching staff, Brad Oliver who was a three-time state champion and Trevor King who was a state place winner, both Mt. Hope alumni.”
Coach Oliver was the Huskies assistant wrestling coach from 1995-2001. He had two daughters that played soccer, so he went from coaching wrestling to girls soccer. His son played basketball and football and Coach Oliver long ago, forgot about coaching wrestling.
“It was break glass in case of emergency,” he said. “Now I’m back and loving it. It’s like I never missed a beat. I’ll be back for a while. Building the program back up is a goal of mine now.”
Coach King is a 2016 Mt. Hope graduate. He went to Bridgwater State University for physical education and has been coaching football and wrestling in town.
“They pulled me up from Kickemuit and I’ve been here since,” said Coach King, who’s grandfather was the late Roland Rodrigues a former Bristol coach. “Coaching is in my blood. I’ve created the best bond with these kids.”
McCarthy finishes sophomore season second in the state
McCarthy fell to top ranked Jacob Joyce of Ponaganset in the 126-pound championship to take second place in the state. Joyce, a senior, scooped up the sinewy sophomore and pinned him three minutes into the match. McCarthy finished his incredible sophomore season with a record of 40-4. He wrestled well as he climbed through the 126-pound bracket, beating Sincere Pompey of Hope and Jayson Frias of Smithfield after receiving a first round bye. McCarthy then took down second ranked Stone Farnsworth of Coventry by a 3-1 decision in the 126-pound semifinals match. With ten seconds to go and the score tied 1-1, McCarthy strategically moved his body into position and took down Farnsworth to win the match. The Mt. Hope crowd erupted in cheers. Huskies head coach Ryan Fazzi gave McCarty a huge bear hug, then hoisted the wrestler into the air with one arm and held up a number one sign with the other as he walked towards the Huskies fans on the other side of the ropes.
“There was very short time left,” said McCarthy of the semifinals match. “I got a take down and that moved me onto the final. Against Joyce, I had a leg once or twice, but he was better at defending. At the end there, I got caught up a little bit.”
“Andrew did a fabulous job against a nationally ranked competitor,” said Coach Fazzi. “When he’s a senior, he’ll be doing that to other guys.”
Thibaudeau beat Ray McConnell of Narragansett twice, the second determined fifth place in the 152-pound weight class. The junior lost an 8-0 major decision to Ryan Currier of Chariho in the quarterfinals. Then wrestled back and beat Alex Owens of North Kingstown and John Nicoll of Lincoln, but fell to Jordan DaCosta of Cumberland by a 10-2 decision before dominating MCConnell 5-0 to take fifth place.
“James is a big, big, big staple in our lineup,” said Coach Fazzi. “He wrestled in a super deep weight class. All of his matches were close.”
Correia fell to Edwin Mooney of Lincoln by an 8-4 decision in his first match after receiving a bye in the 120-pound weight class. The senior then won three straight matches against, Naiem Main of Central, Norah Swaim of North Kingstown and Logan Martins of Johnston to put himself back into contention for third place. But he tired and fell to Martim Moniz of East Providence by a 12-3 decision and lost a 7-4 decision to Seth McGrew of Hendricken to fall back to sixth place.
“I’m proud of Carson,” said Coach Fazzi. “He beat guys that were ranked higher than him to take sixth. He showed them who he is.”
Furtado received a first round bye and then beat Erick Mazariego of Classical and Noah Turillo of North Kingstown to gain the semifinals in the 145-pound weight class. The senior then lost to Gabe Bouyssou of Scituate by a 22-8 major decision and then fell to Miguel Santana of North Providence and James Rocco of Barrington to fall to sixth place.
“Mason wrestled well. He came a long way,” said Coach Fazzi.
More to come from Huskies wrestlers
Though the season is over for most of the Huskies, with the exception of those wrestling at the New England championships, Coach Fazzi is excited about the prospect of next year’s team with just three seniors leaving and a bunch of incoming, experienced freshman coached by Eric Francis at Kickemuit Middle School.
“This is going to be a major program in the next couple of years,” he said. “All home grown talent, you’re going to see some big things from Mt. Hope coming up.”